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University of Toronto and IBM Develop Supercomputer
Christo Jacob
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The mammoth machine, which is one among the top 20 fastest supercomputers - 30 times faster than the peak performance of Canada’s current largest research system - will be capable of performing 360 trillion calculations per second. The machine’s storage capacity is equivalent to that held by one million regular DVDs and could be linked to more than 4,000 IBM servers.

Its power is roughly equivalent to “30,000 to 40,000 home computers linked together,” said Chris Pratt, strategic initiatives executive at IBM Canada. The supercomputer will involve the largest implementation of IBM’s iDataPlex system, which holds twice as many processors per unit as standard systems.

The system will be used to explore the modern scientific mystery of why matter has mass and what constitutes the mass of the universe. Also, the system will be a big boost to scientists at the University of Toronto and its associated research hospitals, as it will help projects in an array of areas from aerospace and astrophysics to climate change prediction and medical imaging.

A data center will be built just north of Toronto. Funding being provided by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation in partnership with the province of Ontario and the university, the supercomputer will be fully operational by next June.

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